Sapphires are the gemstones from mineral family corundum. They are the crystal form of aluminum oxide. The word sapphire is originated from Greek word ‘sappheiros’. It is considered as a royal and scared stone. Though sapphire is a synonymous with blue but it comes in almost every color of rainbow. Sapphires signify friendship, virtue, happiness and prosperity and known as the stone of heaven.
Sapphires are commonly used in fine jewelry and are equally popular as diamond in engagement rings. Before you purchase a sapphire stone or jewelry there are few things to consider:
Color is an important factor in buying sapphire. Blue is the most popular color but pink, white, yellow, red, green are also equally demanded. Sapphires with good color saturation are prized high. Cornflower blue is the most durable hue in sapphires. Too dark and too light sapphire is comparatively less expensive.
Star sapphire and Padparadscha are two rare types of sapphires. Star sapphires are cut in dome shape and display a star shaped inclusion when held up in light. Padparadscha is a light to medium orange-pink sapphire from Sri Lanka which is very rare and expensive.
Clarity of a sapphire is another important factor. A flawless sapphire with intense hues is the most expensive one. Though they are not as flawless as diamonds but are clearer than ruby and emeralds. To enhance the color and clarity sapphires are generally heat treated.
Sapphires are often cut in different shapes like oval, round, pear and emerald-cut. The cut helps in expanding the light reflection area and gives a beautiful appearance to the stone.
Like diamonds sapphires are also graded on the basis of weight. The higher the weight, the costly the stone is.
Sapphires are the second hardest gemstones with a hardness of 9 on moh’s scale. This makes them good for daily wear.
Before you buy a loose sapphire or sapphire jewelry, check for the carat, color and clarity. A stone with no inclusions and less carat weight could be more expensive if it has perfect hue. Also check if the stone is lab created or natural. The price of sapphires depends on many factor including the above mentioned so you should double check these factors before selecting your sapphire.